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Metaphors Metonymy and Synecdoche
Irony and Fallacy

What is the main purpose of the title The Utterly Perfect Murder?


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June 27, 2007 8:20PM

The title of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Utterly Perfect Murder", indicates Doug Spalding's frame of mind when he begins to plan the murder of his childhood friend, Ralph Underhill. He devises a plan that, in his mind, will leave him virtually blameless once the crime is committed. He explains that no one would expect him of Ralph's murder: "No one in history had ever done a crime like this. I would stay, kill, depart, a stranger among strangers. How would anyone dare to say, finding Ralph Underhill's body on his doorstep, that a boy aged twelve, arriving on a kind of Time Machine train, traveled out of hideous self-contempt, had gunned down the Past?" Doug sees his plan as "utterly perfect" because it will leave him undetected. A very basic purpose of the title is to stir the reader's imagination and curiousity, thus inspiring him to read the entire story.